Bold new Hi-Speed ferry timetable announced
04-10-2006 A new and improved Red Jet Hi-Speed timetable between West Cowes and Southampton launches on Sunday 12 November 06, providing the fastest link between the Isle of Wight and London Waterloo.
Red Funnel, the original Isle of Wight ferry company, is reorganising both its Red Jet Hi-Speed timetable and the CityLink bus service to improve connections with trains leaving Southampton for Winchester, Basingstoke and London.
The revised CityLink service between Terminal 2 on Town Quay and the Central Station is designed to offer a seamless link between the Red Jets and South West Trains London Waterloo services which depart on the hour and half hour.
From 12 November, there will be up to 34 sailings in each direction between West Cowes and Southampton, departing at 15 and 45 minutes past the hour. The first weekday sailing from West Cowes will be at 0615 hrs and the last sailing will depart from Southampton at 2345 hrs.
Whilst Southern Vectis operate services to/from West Cowes every 7 minutes, improvements to their connection times will be made from 3 January 2007.
The new Hi-Speed schedule will mean that weekday journeys from West Cowes to London Waterloo take on average just 126 minutes. The change comes after extensive research carried out with Island residents and passengers to establish their thoughts on an optimum Hi-Speed timetable.
A large household survey, carried out on the Island in January this year, revealed that 88 per cent of the 10,000 respondents were either in favour or were unaffected by the change, with only 12 per cent against the move.
An onboard survey of more than 1,000 customers in September showed that from the Island, nearly 53 per cent of passengers supported the change; while 35 per cent of those surveyed felt they would be unaffected. Only 12 per cent were not in favour of the move.
“This is a very significant customer driven change to our Hi-Speed timetable and follows extensive research to ensure that it meets the needs of the vast majority of our daily commuters, business travellers and leisure customers. The new schedule cuts journey times for rail customers using the West Cowes – Waterloo corridor and makes Red Funnel’s Red Jet service the fastest and most reliable route from the Isle of Wight for foot passengers”. said Colin Hetherington, Commercial Director, Red Funnel.
Jonathan Green, Head of Marketing added “We would like to thank all those who participated in the research and for the many ideas and suggestions that were received. The timetable change is just the start of a series of exciting onboard and shore side enhancements that are planned over the next 12 months. For leisure travellers, we intend to extend our off-peak fares and provide a wider range of customer discounts and packages to mainland events, performances and attractions”.